Notes from Portugal: West Coast of Europe, Dude!

Greetings from Portugal. I am spending this week with friends in Faro, in the Algarve region of Portugal, and will undoubtedly post a few notes from here. If I can handle this internet cafe or find a new one, that is. To give you an idea, I am surrounded by about 10 men, age 20-25, talking to friends on Skype really loud in some angry-sounding foreign language. One of them is watching old people engaging in kinky sexual acts at the same time. Why, oh why, didn’t I bring my laptop instead?

Yes, I agree that going to southern Portugal just barely counts as adventure travel but it is a good place to warm up one’s bones. It is if you live in Prague or New York, at least.

I don’t have much to report just yet. I have noticed that the climate and landscape here is remarkably similar to that of Southern California. I can see why Portugal is trying to brand itself to Americans as the “West Coast of Europe.” They claim they are very environmentally-savvy, although the house where we are staying recycles just glass. It is not too hot in the summer and pretty warm in the winter. Not nearly as many blonds though. And a lot more sardines!

Even with the weak dollar, Portugal is pretty affordable. A cup of coffee will cost you about one euro [$1.40]. You might have noticed that I typically go by the “coffee price index” when traveling abroad. Gotta keep my priorities straight!

Stay tuned for more on Portugal.